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NAIA Information

This is meant to serve as a quick reference resource and should not be considered legal advice in any way. For more details you can go straight to the source at

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics consists of many fine smaller colleges and universities from across the United States. It also has two Canadian member institutions and previously had one in the Bahamas. The NAIA can trace roots back to 1937 with the creation of an intercollegiate basketball tournament, which continues as the longest running basketball tournament in the country.

Today the NAIA has expanded to a total of 255 member schools and over 60,000 student-athletes as of October, 2013. The NAIA sponsors 23 national championships and is headquarted in Kansas City, Missouri.

The NAIA is able to provide scholarships to varsity athletes by way of “equivalency numbers.” Each sport has a certain number of scholarships available, but which can be broken up and given to multiple athletes. For example, football is able to give 24 scholarships but could provide 48 half scholarships instead if they desired. This gives coaches the freedom to attract high quality athletes and play with the numbers to provide recruits with good options.

Note that this only applies to athletes appearing in varsity games. Many programs will feature junior varsity squads as well. JV players do not count toward the total scholarship limit, so these athletes can be given an athletic scholarship even after the total limit for a sport is reached.

Here are the total scholarship amounts:
Baseball: 12
Basketball (Division I): 11
Basketball (Division II): 6
Cross Country: 5
Football: 24
Golf: 5
Soccer: 12
Softball: 10
Swimming and Diving: 8
Tennis: 5
Track and Field: 12
Wrestling: 8
Volleyball: 8